Faf du Plessis also completed 2,000 Test runs    Getty Images
Faf du Plessis also completed 2,000 Test runs Getty Images

Faf du Plessis’ century kept South Africa ahead in the league as Australia ended their day’s play at 14 for no loss, trailing by 245 at Adelaide Oval in Adelaide. David Warner was away for shoulder treatment that lead to Usman Khawaja and newbie Matt Renshaw beginning the action for Australia. They remained unbeaten with Khawaja and Renshaw playing at 3 and 8 respectively including two boundaries from the debutant. Proteas expectation to run through the new Australian batting line-up slowed down as Kagiso Rabada, Kyle Abbott, Vernon Philander and Tabraiz Shamsi remained wicketless at the end of the day’s play. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, third Test, Day One at Adelaide

Abbott and du Plessis, who built 4 runs for eighth wicket, added 50 more to gain command in the final session against Australia. Du Plessis headed for Dinner at 65 and reached 96 as long as Abbott stayed on the crease. Meanwhile, Abbott stabalised the game that belonged to Australia for most part of the day adding 17 runs despite no boundaries. South Africa once again failed to capitalise on the platter provided by Cook and du Plessis partnership, as Bird caught hold of his second wicket removing Abbott breaking yet another building partnership of 54 runs. Rabada was the ninth man to join du Plessis.

After all the hullabaloo from the first Test press conference between Rabada and du Plessis, the latter reached his 6th Test century and in the process completed 2,000 Test runs, sharing the excitement with Rabada post the ton. His love for Adelaide continued with consecutive Test ton after four years. All the criticisms circling around ball-tampering were shut with a composed century from Proteas skipper. Rabada, was easily grabbed by Nathan Lyon, who struggled through the day to get his first wicket. South Africa were stuck at 229 for 9 and Australia needed one more to end the Proteas innings.

Debutant Tabraiz Shamsi filled the shoes of Keshav Maharaj successfully indeed. He was the last man and added 30 runs more along with du Plessis. The surprise bit was when du Plessis decided to declare the innings at 259 for 9, with a hope to run over the new Australian batsmen for the remaining 12 overs of the day. ALSO READ: Josh Hazlewood 4-for keeps Proteas under check

Du Plessis was his team’s lone hope with a determined knock after the loss of seven wickets had the tourists struggling against Steve Smith’s revamped team. It was the in the same ground du Plessis century lead the game to a draw against Australia. On Day One, Hazlewood was proving the destroyer with four wickets for 36. Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, who has scores of 84, 64 and 104 in the series, had a failure by comparison, managing just 24 off 33 balls.

Philander lost a third umpire review when the referral detected a faint edge off Hazlewood to Wade for four nearing the dinner break. Australia are fighting off the threat of their sixth straight Test defeat, after losing 3-0 in Sri Lanka in July and August. They are also on the brink of their first-ever home Test series whitewash.

Brief Scores:

South Africa 259 for 9 (Stephen Cook 40, Faf du Plessis 118*, Quinton de Kock 24, Tabraiz Shamsi 18*; Mitchell Starc 2 for 50, Josh Hazlewood 4 for 36, Jackson Bird 2 for 57) lead Australia 14 for 0 (Usman Khawaja 3, Matt Renshaw 8; Vernon Philander 0 for 10) by 245 runs